Vermont Legislature

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Gov. Phil Scott called a special session, which started this week, after vowing to veto the state budget passed by lawmakers.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Democratic lawmakers have been severely critical of Gov. Phil Scott’s plan to avoid an increase in statewide property tax rates, but the Republican governor has also struggled to win buy-in from members of his own party.

Taylor Dobbs (left), Emily Alfin Johnson (right) / VPR

A TL;DR for the 2018 Vermont Legislative session, if you will.

Gov. Phil Scott addresses the Vermont Senate after lawmakers adjourned the legislative session Saturday night. Scott, who is expected to veto the state budget, says there's a "fundamental disagreement" between him and legislators.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The $5.8 billion budget passed by the Vermont Legislature late Saturday night is supposed to fund government through the middle of 2019, but the spending plan will more likely have a shelf life of only a few days.

Lawmakers gathered in the Senate at the kickoff of the biennium in 2017. Now, lawmakers will return for a special session next week.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

The Vermont Senate has given its final approval to the paid family leave bill. But the measure has an uncertain future because it's likely that Gov. Phil Scott will veto the legislation.

Gov. Phil Scott says an anti-racism bill passed by the Legislature contains an unconstitutional provision. But though he vetoed the bill, he says he'll move forward voluntarily with an almost identical initiative.
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Gov. Phil Scott’s five-year education plan may have landed with a thud in the Vermont Statehouse, but the administration hopes to have better luck with people outside the Montpelier political bubble.

Facing a $58 million funding gap, Vermont lawmakers and the governor have competing proposals to pay for Vermont's schools in the final weeks of the legislative session.
Miatagirl / iStock

How will Vermont fund its schools? Gov. Scott's new plan would use nearly $60 million dollars in one-time funds to keep property taxes down, but Democrats in the legislature balked at a plan they say has a number of problems. 

The association that represents Vermont ski areas says a consumer protection bill passed by lawmakers this session would hurt the outdoor recreation industry. Backers of the legislation say it will protect Vermonters from unfair contract practices.
Nina Keck / VPR

Vermont lawmakers Tuesday gave final approval to a first-in-the-nation consumer protection bill, but critics say the legislation could severely disrupt the state’s outdoor recreation industry.

Looking up at the golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse on a cloudy day.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Money for the session runs out on Saturday, but adjournment looks very uncertain because there are a number of major disputes looming between Republican Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic leaders at the Vermont Statehouse.

Gov. Phil Scott says an anti-racism bill passed by the Legislature contains an unconstitutional provision. But though he vetoed the bill, he says he'll move forward voluntarily with an almost identical initiative.
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

On Monday, the Vermont Senate gave its unanimous approval to legislation that backers hope will significantly reduce sexual harassment in the workplace.

Gov. Phil Scott listens Monday as economists deliver the latest revenue forecast. Scott wants to use this year's budget surplus to buy down property tax rates next year. Democratic lawmakers say the money can be put to better uses.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Elected officials in Montpelier learned Monday they’ll end the fiscal year with a $44 million budget surplus. But the unexpected windfall hasn’t ended the acrimony between Republican Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic lawmakers.

The House chamber of the Vermont Legislature
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Democratic lawmakers in Vermont have been working hard on two big policy initiatives this session. One bill would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The other would establish a paid family and medical leave program for most employees.

But as the end of the session nears, both of those bills may suddenly be in jeopardy.

Millard Cox, of Ripton, speaks at a public hearing in the Vermont Statehouse in January. Cox is among the health care reform advocates urging the Legislature to adopt a publicly funded system for universal primary care.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

It’s been more than three years since then-Gov. Peter Shumlin abandoned his pledge to create a universal health care system in Vermont, but advocates are working this session to reignite the embers of the single-payer flame.

Lawmakers hold up the "Honor and Remember" flag during a bill signing ceremony Thursday. The flag will honor Vermonters who died as a result of their military service.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermonters who died as a result of their military service will soon have a new flag flying in their honor.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe have a plan to avoid a government shutdown on July 1st if lawmakers are still at an impasse with Governor Phil Scott over property tax rates
Meg Malone / VPR File

With a vote of 141 to 2, the Vermont House has given its strong support to a bill that's designed to significantly reduce the cost of expensive prescription drugs.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Westminster Democrat says he won't seek re-election this year, after nearly 30 years serving in the Vermont House. 

According to campaign finance disclosures, Republican Gov. Phil Scott has raised more than twice as much money toward his 2018 reelection bid than any of the other four candidates challenging him for the office.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Administration officials say Gov. Phil Scott will unveil a plan Tuesday to plug a nearly $60 million hole in the state’s education fund.

A majority of Vermonters say they support raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Democrats hope Gov. Phil Scott's opposition to the wage increase will hurt support for Republicans in the November elections.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

An eleventh-hour push to resurrect legislation that would have created a legal market for retail marijuana sales fizzled out Friday, but many elected officials say it’s only a matter of time before Vermont decides to tax and regulate cannabis.

Gov. Phil Scott and legislative leaders are still at odds over key budget issues, including an estimated $58 million needed for education funding.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Times Argus

Lawmakers are working on finalizing a budget in the closing weeks of the legislative session, but key disagreements on school funding and other programs have yet to be resolved. We're looking at how the state budget is taking shape and where lawmakers and Gov. Scott's administration disagree.

Winooski Rep. Diana Gonzalez says it looks like the House has enough votes right now to pass a bill that would create a taxed-and-regulated market for retail cannabis sales.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A surprise twist in the Statehouse Thursday afternoon has the issue of marijuana legalization suddenly on the front burner in Montpelier again.

A majority of Vermonters say they support raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Democrats hope Gov. Phil Scott's opposition to the wage increase will hurt support for Republicans in the November elections.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

The Vermont House has failed to override Governor Phil Scott’s veto of a bill that would have tightened regulations on toxic chemicals used in children’s products.

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